Water Right Acquisitions, Permits, and Compliance

Water Right Acquisitions

The City acquires water rights through a number of programs. 

  • The Water Right Transfer Program links development to water by requiring that projects with new water demand either purchase water conserved by customers (for example through the water conservation rebate program) or by acquiring water rights and transfering them to the City. 
  • The Water Bank Program allows purchases of pre-1907 Middle Rio Grande water rights to be deposited  in the City's water bank. The owner of the water rights may then sell the water rights to any developer who needs water under the Water Right Transfer Program (above) Provisional Water Bank Roster.  
  • The City's Water Acquisition Program, with an annual budget of $400,000, purchases pre-1907, Middle Rio Grande and other water rights needed to support the City's other water rights and water supply.

Water Right Compliance

The City regularly meets the water right permit conditions required by the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer. As per water right permit conditions, the City measures and reports water use and water level changes under Buckman Well Field Water Level Monitoring Program and the Northwest Well Monitoring Program.

Under the Buckman Direct Diversion permit, the City is required to measure and report monthly diversion from the Rio Grande, track and report the release of San Juan-Chama water from Abiquiu Reservoir, annually calculate the City's gallon per capita per day as a measure of water use efficiency, and submit a water conservation plan every five years.

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